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NC experts: Millions of fish probably suffocated

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NEW BERN, N.C. — Experts say millions of fish found dead in the Neuse River in eastern North Carolina probably suffocated.

Multiple media outlets reported more than 2 million fish have died in the river in the past week.

Test results are expected next week. But experts say it appears low-oxygen saltwater along the river bottom mixed with the upper layers of fresh water.

Scientists at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Science in Morehead City have been measuring oxygen levels along the bottom of the river. Professor Hans Paerl says conditions were “ripe for a fish kill.”

He says high winds and recent storms helped stir the water.

Paerl says tests have found no conditions other than low oxygen that could have killed the fish, mostly Atlantic menhaden.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Experts say millions of fish found dead in the Neuse River in eastern North Carolina probably suffocated.

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